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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Students, Driving Crazy, All That

I mean, what's there to say, really.

I know I'm being a negligent blogger, and I certainly do apologize for my silence. But I'm being driven absolutely insane by students. It's like I'm the target of a fully premeditated carefully planned organizational effort executed by determinedly sullen 4 year olds gifted in the art of Chinese water torture.

These are people who consider themselves adults, mind you. My mistake? I gave The Local Football Player a C last semester.

He deserved a D.

But I didn't give him a D because I hadn't really given him advance notice that he'd fallen into D territory. Weird, I know, but there it is.

Unfortunately --- well, unfortunately for him, at least --- this C, in combination with any number of D's and F's and other C's he'd received in other classes, knocked him into some kind of ineligible for something er other territory. Don't ask me because I don't know.

It all goes hand in hand with the D given to the student who spent most of last spring semester shining me on and not doing half the work for the semester. Trust me, he was lucky to get a D ...

The two of them have teamed up with a gang of wimmenfolks (such as it is): 1. the campus' notoriously Bumptious Women Team ---one, a bleached blonde given to Ann-Margret hairdoes and pink lipstick, and her best friend who relies less on obvious sex appeal and more on the strong arming of her dad, the parole officer who is first cousin to half the tribal councilmembers of Cherokee Nation; 2. the campus' Beatnik Woman of Undiscernible Sexuality, although I suspect she falls into the category of pansexual --- okay, I know she does because she gave me a bunch of love poems she's written --- she is also exceptionally bumptious, but also extremely talented, although she wastes it staying up all night playing video games and smoking cigarettes with all the rest of them. Her talent however leads her to wearing black more often than Ann-Margret hairdoes and pink lipstick.

So here I am, I have my hands full as it is because my classes are full to the brim --- I've never had so many students, there's hundreds and hundreds of them I'm telling you where did they all come from --- and the backhoe dude's coming over tomorrow to put in septic (you don't want to know what's back there now --- really you don't) and if you don't know about Backhoe Dudes, they're exceptionally chatty and scientific kinds of people who also tend to be quite sensitive and emotional.

A good Backhoe Dude is a hard thing to find and my energies now need to be going to making sure the Backhoe Dude is happy while he's tearing up the Back 40 on his backhoe.

I also have grading to do while I'm preparing for the arrival of the Backhoe Dude.

But instead, it's a nonstop stream of emails and questions and hangup calls and sullen looks.

*sigh*

Tornadoes and fences falling down are much, much easier to deal with.

2 Comments:

At 5:08 AM, Blogger MJ said...

I had to smile while reading this one. I am at the end of the semester dealing with a different age group, but the same scenario. I hate this time of year because it means all of a sudden parents and other concerned people suddenly take great interest in how their kid is doing. Which usually means I'm not doing my job keeping all kazillion of them informed of their student's progress.

I have been trying the teacher/coach technique with my class that is filled with athletes. The hard line. "Come on! Be a girl and gut through this! You gonna give up? You academic wimps!" Then they look around the room and see all the girls, uncomplainingly working.

Anything you do or say may bring calls to the principal's office. I try and ride a line in grading which makes it easier on me (where I get less abuse) but I have a really hard time giving them better grades than they deserve.

And yet I can understand their love for the sport. Auggie and Huck were both offensive linemen, after all. And Huck's love for football was probably the only thing that kept him in school. There were definitely times when I believe he learned more valuable stuff from football than in classrooms, which were sheer torture for him.)

I read a really great article once that talked about football being the only place where integration is truly working. I'm gonna try and find that.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Cookie said...

You know, it's less the football than it is the laziness. One of the problems in rural schools (well, these days, in all schools, I suppose) is that so many of these students are passed on when they literally have done nothing. I have had students before who are illiterate, who have cheated their way through middle and high school and now, at the age of 23, are stuck in functional illiteracy.

Almost worse, though, are the students who've gotten by on the most minimal work --- they don't show up half the time or do the work, but think a compliment or charming smile makes up for it.

Not.

For some of them, I'm the first brick wall they've ever run into. Which is why the college keeps hiring me back because the other teachers give up after a month or so.

I hate No Child Left Behind, it solves nothing while complicating everything. But the people coming out of these rural schools are at such a disadvantage --- they're going to get nowhere unless they come to grips with the fact that they have to work. They have to. We all have to.

And that's where this football player fell down.

 

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